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Spacecom policy to ensure investment into Indian space sector: IAFI

Telecommunications industry body, ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI), said that the Centre should aim for quick and easy licensing of Indian as well as foreign satellites for the early implementation of the draft Spacecom policy (Space-Based Communication Policy of India- 2021) dated October 22, 2021, to encourage domestic private and foreign investment into the Indian space sector.

“Additional regulatory changes are needed for quick and easy licensing of new satellite earth stations, VSATs, and satellite mobile terminals in the Satcom policy to meet the connectivity needs,” said Bharat Bhatia, President of IAFI, in a letter dated October 27, 2021, to K Sivan, Chairman ISRO and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Space.

Bhatia further recommended that globally/regionally harmonized spectrum and regulations for all satellites should be adopted so as to maximize the spectrum available for all satellite communications (satcom).

This letter comes amid a tussle of war between satellite players and telcos over the auctioning of precious 28GHz band or the mmWave band, popularly called the ‘Ka’ band.

The 28GHz band can be used for both 5G as well as satellite services. However, satellite companies want the band exclusively to themselves while telecom operators have been reiterating to the government to make these airwaves available via auction.

Telecom secretary K Rajaram at an industry event had said the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are exploring ways to optimize the country’s spectrum resources, as several airwave bands are useful to both cellular 5G broadband and satellite internet services.

The IAFI executive said a suitable regulatory framework should be developed for the timely deployment of Non-geostationary (NGSO) systems in ‘Ku’ (12GHz to 18GHz) and ‘Ka’ bands. “These recommendations, if implemented regarding overall policy and regulatory framework for satellite communications in India and creating an enabling environment for private sector participation, will derive the maximum advantage from the available & developing satellite communication technologies, leading to a win-win solution for all stakeholders including the Government, the Industry and the consumer,” Bhatia said. B2BChief

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